Night Is a Cistern

Translated by Clare Cavanagh
Night is a cistern. Owls sing. Refugees tread meadow roads   
with the loud rustling of endless grief.   
Who are you, walking in this worried crowd.   
And who will you become, who will you be   
when day returns, and ordinary greetings circle round.

Night is a cistern. The last pairs dance at a country ball.   
High waves cry from the sea, the wind rocks pines.   
An unknown hand draws the dawn’s first stroke.   
Lamps fade, a motor chokes.   
Before us, life’s path, and instants of astronomy.

More Poems by Adam Zagajewski